I’ve found few things in life to be more stressful than trying to find an unclaimed seat or row of seats in a crowded venue. Whether it’s a packed movie theater or a Wednesday night dinner at church, my shoulders tense up when scouring a room for an unoccupied place to sit.
The knowledge of one particular occupied seat, however, doesn’t bring stress, but peace. In Revelation 4:2, John gives readers a glimpse of his celestial vision when he writes, “There before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.”
Not just someone, but Someone.
Scotty Smith was invited to be a guest preacher at Fort Lauderdale’s Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church as part of their “One Sermon” series. For this series, guests were asked to consider a hypothetical situation in which they could only preach one sermon and then to deliver that message to the congregation.
Smith preached from the book of Revelation, and offered a timely word of perspective when he said, “Nothing will make you more sane than to see the occupied throne of heaven.”
Do you ever feel like the events of life have the potential to make you go crazy? I certainly do. Change rattles the status quo. Challenges stretch us beyond our comfort zone. Fear threatens to steal our sleep forever.
These struggles aren’t unique to the 21st century. The Roman Empire was a formidable threat to Christians during John’s lifetime. In fact, John authored Revelation from exile, perhaps due to religious persecution. Like us, John needed stability and sanity, and that’s just what God graciously gave him. “The occupied throne of heaven centered John’s heart when his world was falling apart,” says Smith.
If you’re an introverted, behind-the-scenes kind of person like me, searching for an empty seat in a crowded room can sometimes feel like a daunting task. There’s one seat, though, that will be occupied permanently, and for that we should rejoice.
Since the only seat that truly matters is forever taken, we can face today with confident sanity as we hear the throne’s worthy Occupant declare, “I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5).